Top positive review
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Historically important snapshot of baseball
on March 16, 1999
Were Charles Conlon still alive, I would track him down and kiss his feet for capturing in such vivid detail the historic giants of baseball. The book features remarkable photos of the greatest baseball players of most of the first half of this century. Suitable for framing, the photos typically depict individual players and small groups, often in game action. The well preserved photographs provide an important window on a truly beautiful game and its players in an era when outfield fences were optional, and a "baseball club" was just that. My favorite of Conlon's gems shows Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner gripping his bat. Under his fingernails is Pennsylvania coal dust. His chipped, oversized piece of lumber looks unwieldy by today's standards. And his sinuous forearms are testament to the power that we remember him by. Other photos are paired to show the dramatic impact of age and the outfield sun on players of yesterday. Picture Wes Chandler spunky at 25 and then battle weary at about 50 and you'll understand why so many players strive so hard for a moment in the sun: they want to enjoy it before it's all gone.